Some time ago, perhaps, somewhere, maybe, I mentioned I took a break from the dating world and entered a world of self-crucifying celibacy. Well, that’s over.
I have taken to the world of online dating. I tried it before, a few years ago, and momentarily found someone insane to date. After that experience, I felt quite soured by the idea of lurking for lurve on the internet. I approached online dating off-and-on over the past year with nil results. I believe now, looking back over my past trials and triumphs with the likes of OkCupid, Tinder, Craigslist, and PoF, I approached the sitch all wrong. I was window shopping for L.O.V.E. rather than seeking some new friends who had the possibility of becoming love interests.
There is something super appealing about the scroll-friendly mobile version of dating websites; I get to literally scan through pics, profiles, and match percentages. And with a single swipe to my left or my right, I can decide that yes, this person interests me, or no, they indeed do not. Much like peering through the windows as I stroll down Queen Street or browsing through the racks of a cool store you’ve never heard of, this A-Z version of cupid-ing my matches is fun, playful, and gets some brain chemistry a-movin. Is this damaging? Consumer-friendly? Hotdog, perhaps it’s both!
The sites provide us with quick drops of dopamine as we receive winks and matches based on an extremely topical attraction. This boosts our esteem and inflates our egos on the reg. But what about those who I pass right by? If his hair is too receding, I’ll skim past him; if his display pic shows no face, he gets no face time. Just like that sweater that I know wouldn’t flatter my figure and those jeans that are too blue, I pass ’em by. We can’t be surprised that such strict and slick rules come out of a culture of quick commodification—even to the point wherein the culture commodifies what I believe to be our human purpose: yes, that L.O. V. E. thing.
To call the tab in on online dating would be too quick a snap judgement for me (well, if it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black). I’m not ready yet to pull in the reigns on my OkC account just yet. Judgemental as I may be, I do lend some weight and honesty to what I am attracted to and what attracts me. Just as I’m approaching this whole dating thing as a way to meet new friends and get to know peeps, maybe online dating can be like the practice room for finding potential mates.
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